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Best seats: Cathay Pacific's (older) Airbus A330 business class

By John Walton     Filed under: cathay pacific, business class, Airbus A330, best seats, worst seats, coffin class

Travelling on one of Cathay Pacific's older Airbus A330 planes in business class? We've got insider tips on picking the very best seats on the plane in the angled herringbone layout known as "coffin class".

Cathay flies these older A330s on Australian flights to Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth and some Sydney flights.

The plane

Most of Cathay's A330s are in this older layout. It's referred to as "33B" on timetables and tickets, as opposed to the newer "33E" configuration with different, better seats, which we've already reviewed.

(Compare the two at Cathay's website.)

You'll know you're on one of the older planes when it comes time to pick seats, because there are only three seats across the cabin: seat A on the left, D in the middle (pointing left) and K on the right.

The business class cabin

The seats are the older style of herringbone seating uncharitably referred to as "coffins" with its unpopular high walls and narrow width.

Every seat goes fully flat and has direct aisle access, so it's still a pretty competitive product.

The best seats on the plane

K seats: if you're travelling alone, seats on the right hand side are more private, since there's nobody facing you. (The centre D seats face away from you, so you're facing a partition wall.)

Rows 16, 17, 18: away from galley kitchens, lavatories and baby bassinet crib positions, these seats will be the quietest for getting some sleep, and will have the least foot traffic too.

The worst seats on the plane

Row 11: with two infant positions at 11A and 11K, plus lavatories and galley kitchens ahead, these are seats to skip if you want a peaceful flight.

Row 22 & 23K: since there's a second galley and lavatory ahead of these seats at the front of the second cabin, skip them. (In fact, skip anything behind row 19 if you can.)

Row 25: economy -- and two baby bassinet crib positions -- follows right behind these seats. So to avoid being disturbed, stay forward of these seats.

Any A seat: these left-side seats face into the middle row, which means that you can see the video screens of those seats when they're stowed into the cubicle wall – and if the screens are left turned on (as is almost always the case) this is very annoying during the 'night' portion of a flight when you're trying to sleep or even relax and read, because of their brightness compared to the rest of the cabin.

Also in our Best Seats series:


About John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 26/10/11 by AusFlyer

"Any A Seat" - Really? Then by rights, you should also say "Any D Seat" since the same problem would be present by being able to see the screens from the A seats.... So in effect you're suggesting to avoid most of the seats in Business!

I've sat in the A seat and yes, although you can see the screen from the D seat directly next to you it really isn't that bad. Plus, if you're lying flat then you don't notice it at all unless you sit up. Additionally, if you're watching a movie then the tv screen pretty much blocks the other screen out.


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